H.E. MR. PAUL KING ARYENE, Ambassador of Ghana to Germany :Considering our performance so far, we have cause to make merry on this day
“Considering our performance so far, we have cause to make merry on this day but, in doing so, let us also remember it as one of tribute to those gallant men and women who fought so hard for the country’s independence. One person who stands tall among this group is Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President. Not only did Dr. Kwame Nkrumah fight for Ghana’s independence, but for the whole of Africa. Ghana has made September 21st, a Public holiday in honour of Osagyefo whose birthday falls on that day”
H.E. MR. PAUL KING ARYENE –
ON THE OCCASION OF THE RECEPTION MARKING THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA; 6TH MARCH, 2012 AT THE DEUTSCHE BANK ATRIUM, UNTER DENLINDEN, BERLIN
Mr. Peter Fahrenholtz, Director of West and Central Africa,
Excellencies, Colleague Ambassadors,
Members of the German Bundestag,
Distinguished Invited Guests,
Fellow Ghanaian compatriots,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to warmly welcome you all to this evening’s event. I am also grateful for your presence as we celebrate the 55th birthday of Ghana.
Those of you among us this evening old enough to have witnessed the birth of Ghana would testify to the mood of the country at the time – one of confidence and hope to manage our own affairs successfully. Our journey towards this objective over the past 55 years has been arduous and most challenging at times. In spite of the challenges, we have kept faith, managed to stay the course and made significant political and socio-economic gains.
Politically, our efforts have earned Ghana international acknowledgement as a peaceful, stable, democratic State. We have achieved this feat through hard work and sacrifice. There must, therefore, be no complacency in protecting our gains.
There is also the need for a continuous search for ways to enhance our performance if we are to stay relevant and continue to make progress. It is in line with this quest that the President set up the Constitution Review Commission in January 2010 to conduct a Consultative Review of the 1992 Constitution.
The Review, which provided a platform for Ghanaians to express opinions on the fundamental law of the country, was to take stock of the past and plan for the future. The Commission, which held consultations with Ghanaians both in Ghana and the Diaspora, has already submitted its report to the President who, in turn, has set up a Technical Implementation Committee to assist Cabinet with the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.
In Germany, the Commission held a session each in Hamburg and Dusseldorf. It is however sad to recall the scant attention paid to the Commission’s work here by a majority of Ghanaians and those of Ghanaian origin.
Those who ignored the Commission’s sittings are the very people now inundating Mission – in view of reports of an agreement concluded between Germany and a sister West African country on an issue relevant to those in the diaspora – with questions on what the Government of Ghana intends to do about their situation.
They can be rest assured that those who thought it worth to attend the Commission’s sittings raised the same issue they are concerned about. For those who found it necessary to give the Commission’s more priority, I say AYEKOO! You have done your civic duty.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is an election year and Ghanaians will go to the polls later in the year for the purpose of determining those to run the affairs of the nation for the next four years.
I am confident that once again Ghanaians will demonstrate their political maturity by ensuring that we have free, fair and transparent elections whose results would be acceptable to and accepted by all. This is a responsibility which must be shared by all Ghanaians!
Economically, Ghana has made significant progress. In addition to attaining a middle income status, Ghana recorded the highest ever growth rate in the history of the nation in 2011 with a provisional growth rate of over 13%.
The country also recorded the most sustained single digit rates of inflation in decades; the rate of 8.55% for 2011 was the lowest since 1970.
Our budget deficit as at September 2011 stood at 2% of GDP, with Gross International reserves of US$4.98 billion, exceeding 3 months import cover for goods and services as at October, 2011.
These positive economic indicators have no doubt resulted in increased investor confidence in the economy.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is rare these days to hear two or more Ghanaians in conversation on the national economy without mention of oil and gas. So, for the benefit of my fellow Ghanaians here let me say a few words about developments in the oil and gas sector.
Well, let me assure you that plans for the development of the sector are on course.
With regard to gas, I wish to note that Parliament has approved a loan deal, thereby providing resources to finance the implementation of the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure development project, whose completion will stimulate diversification of the national economy.
On oil, I am happy to state that production is continuing and, as promised by the President, the government has made full public disclosure of Ghana’s entire share of oil liftings and the revenues accrued.
Considering our performance so far, we have cause to make merry on this day but, in doing so, let us also remember it as one of tribute to those gallant men and women who fought so hard for the country’s independence.
One person who stands tall among this group is Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President. Not only did Dr. Kwame Nkrumah fight for Ghana’s independence, but for the whole of Africa. Ghana has made September 21st, a Public holiday in honour of Osagyefo whose birthday falls on that day.
In January this year, the Africa Union unveiled an exquisite statue of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah at the forecourt of the new Africa Union building in Addis Ababa in honour of his memory. It is an honour that every Ghanaian and indeed, every African must be proud of.
While we take pride in our achievements, we must be conscious of the task ahead of us: there is a lot more to be done to sustain our middle income status and keep the country on the path of continuing development. We must therefore work harder to make our nation greater and stronger.
Ladies and Gentlemen, We cannot end the evening’s event without acknowledging the contribution that our development partner, Germany, has made towards our achievements. The partnership between Ghana and Germany has benefited us in several critical areas.
It is therefore appropriate that we extend our appreciation to the Government, people and non-governmental organizations of Germany for a fruitful partnership.
It is our hope that the future will witness increased German involvement in Ghana, particularly from the private sector.
Finally, I wish to thank our Honorary Consuls, and all our friends in Germany for their invaluable service to Ghana as well as to the Deutsche Bank for graciously allowing us once again to use their nice facilities for this evening’s event.
Long live Ghana.
Long live Ghana-Germany co-operation.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY H.E. MR. PAUL KING ARYENE ON THE OCCASION OF THE RECEPTION MARKING THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA; 6TH MARCH, 2012 AT THE DEUTSCHE BANK ATRIUM, UNTER DENLINDEN, BERLIN